The Detroit Lions have poured a ton of resources into improving their team this offseason, but even though that is the case, it’s not likely that anyone saw the team as costing more than some playoff contenders.
Offensively, the Lions struggled in 2021, and the team decided to run things back with largely the same group in 2022. That’s a group that is going to be costing a fair amount against the salary cap for the franchise.
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Recently, NFL numbers guru Warren Sharp took a look at identifying the most expensive and least expensive offenses in the NFL. The Lions, shockingly enough, occupied the top spot with an offense that will cost an astounding $123 million next season. That was the highest total in the league.
A big reason behind this bloated total? The contract of Jared Goff, which is a whopper. Detroit took on Goff’s freshly-signed four-year, $134 million dollar contract extension to facilitate the Matthew Stafford trade in 2021, and he is costing the team $31.5 million against the cap in 2022. Their reward for doing this was a pair of first-round picks from Los Angeles in 2022 and 2023. One of those picks ended up being used to deal up for Jameson Williams, a player who could soon make their offense more dangerous no matter how much it might cost.
Goff’s deal starts to get more palatable come 2023, when the Lions have a potential out. They would sustain a $10 million dollar dead cap hit by moving on from Goff, but it’s possible the team could always restructure the deal to keep Goff around if they want to given solid play.
Nevertheless, the Lions have the dubious distinction of costing the most on offense at this point. It’s a fact folks will simply have to deal with through the ups and downs on the field this coming year.
Pressure on Lions’ Offense to Impress in 2022
Regardless of the reasons why the Lions have an expensive offense, the team has to find a way to deliver some better results on the field. The way the 2021 offense looked amid a 3-13-1 season was ugly at best. The Lions ranked 22nd in total offense, including 18th with regards to the pass and 19th in the run game. Worse, the team only averaged 19.1 points per-game, and suffered from a lack of explosive plays overall.
In order to solve that, the Lions drafted Williams, who they will have on a rookie deal into the near future. They also signed DJ Chark to a one-year, $10 million dollar pact, which is very fair, in addition to bringing back wideouts Josh Reynolds (two-year, $6 million dollars) and Kalif Raymond (two-years, $5 million dollars) on solid value deals. As a whole, Brad Holmes has been praised for his contractual work, meaning this number could soon find a way to turn itself around. With that said, a potential T.J. Hockenson extension could end up bumping the total even higher in the near-future.
Detroit promoted Ben Johnson to give their offense a boost, and they hope the team can look more like the one who produced some solid games in the second half of the 2021 season. If that’s the case, the team could end up being worth it in the end.
Pat McAfee Mocks Absurdity of Lions’ Expensive Offense
If it seems more than a bit absurd to you that the Lions would have the most expensive offense in the NFL considering who is on their roster, you’re certainly not alone. Former league punter and personality Pat McAfee also cannot believe that the Lions have managed to put together the most expensive offense in the league. As he said on the Pat McAfee Show, it would have seemed that the most expensive offense would have come from a team with an elite quarterback, running back or wideout that has just gotten paid.
“The most expensive offense in the NFL. Will that offense pay off? Will they get a ROI on any of that?,” McAfee joked while running down some of the teams on the list whom he figured would be ahead of Detroit.
It seems obvious to say the pressure is on Detroit’s group to prove their worth in 2022 and give that return on investment McAfee is talking about, and that might only be the case more now that this surprising fact has been revealed before the season begins.
Everyone, including McAfee, will be watching to see if the Lions can indeed deliver some better results with an offense that has the dubious distinction of costing the most in the league at this point in time.